If you’re heading off to college in the next few months, you’re probably feeling a whole mix of emotions: excited, scared, intimidated, sad, nervous in a good way, and a stressed out. Freshman year of college is definitely a big adjustment, especially if you’re living on campus somewhere far from where you grew up. There’s so much to keep in mind that remembering all of the advice you’ve heard is almost impossible. Say what you will about self-help books, but college advice books are pretty necessary for most students. And don’t worry – they aren’t lame. There are some really great books about college that are actually helpful, fun to read, and essential in preparing you for this major life change. Movies and television make college sounds super fun (which it is), but there are going to be plenty of personal and academic challenges to deal with as well.
Sometimes you don’t want to read a cheesy book about college written by a forty-year-old. You want something funny, written by people close to your age who have similar experiences and thoughts as you. The college experience has changed a lot in the last few years, and it’s important to get advice from people who’ve recently been through it. That’s why we’re letting you know about some books that are actually really down-to-earth that can give you a heads up on college life. Some of these books are even written from the female perspective, which is especially important with the epidemic of rape and harassment on college campuses.
Here are some college prep books that you’ll actually enjoy reading:
The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into In CollegeIf you want a "heads up" as to what college is really like, this book will help you out. After all, sometimes the hardest parts of college are outside of the classroom! This book goes into dating in college, being safe at parties, and dealing with the crazy dorms. It's better to learn these lessons the easy way (by reading them) than the hard way (making lots and lots of mistakes). The writing is entertaining- you'll probably want to loan it out to your friends when you're finished. The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into In College by Harlan Cohen, $10.32,Amazon.com
U Chic: College Girls' Real Advice For Your First Year (and Beyond!)Fifty-three real college girls share their advice to college in this great book. Told from the female perspective, it's like talking to a bunch of your older girlfriends about what college is really like. It covers a ton of different topics and is definitely a must-have before you begin your higher education. U Chic: College Girls' Real Advice For Your First Year (and Beyond!) by Christie Garton, $10.13, Amazon.com
How To Win At CollegeThis book contains interviews from top students all around the country and boils them down into seventy-five tips for college. Some of the suggestions are things you've never heard before, because being successful is more often than not about thinking out-of-the-box. If you want to be a superstar at college (and not just barely scrape by), this book is for you. How To Win At College by Cal Newport, $10.50, Amazon.com
The Her Campus Guide To College Life: How To Manage Relationships, Stay Safe and Healthy, Handle Stress, and Have The Best Years Of Your LifeIf you enjoy reading the articles at HerCampus.com, you'll like the style of this college help book. Specifically geared towards girls, it addresses issues like dating, the "Freshman 15," and Greek parties from a female perspective. It's even interactive! Fill out the checklists and worksheets in the book with your friends so that you feel extra prepared. Her Campus Guide To College Life: How To Manage Relationships, Stay Safe and Healthy, Handle Stress, and Have The Best Years Of Your Life by Her Campus Editors, $12.91, Amazon.com
College HacksThe creator of 1oooLifeHacks.org has come up with an easily-digestible and funny guide to college. A breezy read with lots of lists and pictures, you can glance at it while you're on the toilet or when you have a few minutes to chill out. It's full of hacks that will save you money as a college student. (Because if there's one thing college students are perpetually short on, it's cash!) College Hacks by Keith Bradford, $10.14, Amazon.com
Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: CollegeThis was written in 2004, but it still holds up. The writing (by the same people who do all the Worst Case Scenarios books) is hilarious. It's an in-your-face assessment of college life. There's nothing cutesy or obvious about it. Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: College by Joshua Piven, Jennifer Worick, and David Borgenicht, $12.64, Amazon.com
The Nuts And Bolts Of College WritingWriting essays are a huge part of college. This book will give you a head start on the hundreds of essays you'll write in the next four years by explaining some basic rules. The tools are easy, to-the-point, and will be useful for the rest of your life. The Nuts And Bolts Of College Writing by Michael Harvey, $1, Amazon.com
The Freshman Survival Guide: Soulful Advice For Study, Socializing, And Everything In BetweenIf you tend to be more conservative, you'll like this college help book that has more of a religious bent. It breaks down the first week of college into twenty-five tips. College can be a difficult transition, and it's good to think of your mental health and figure out how to find balance. I was an RA in college, and unfortunately many of my dorm residents were coping with the stress and change in harmful ways. The Freshman Survival Guide: Soulful Advice For Study, Socializing, And Everything In Between by Nora Bjradbury-Haehl and Bill McGarvey, $11.06, Amazon.com
Are you nervous for college? What are you doing to prepare? Let me know in the comments below!